Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Still from andreas at LJ.
They love to tell you stay inside the lines
But something's better on the other side
I want to run through the halls of my high school
I want to scream at the top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above
-"No Such Thing," John Mayer
Wow. She's so cute.
He can't quite get over it. He hasn't seen Chloe Sullivan since June, even though she's one of his best friends, because she spent the summer with her grandparents in Florida. They talked on the phone a few times, but that's not quite the same thing, and it didn't prepare him for this.
Since he last saw her three months ago, Chloe's turned into a... well... a girl.
He's not really good with girls. In fact, he tends to fall over his feet around them. Well, at least he falls over his feet around Lana Lang.
But he's not that way around Chloe. At least he never has been. He's relaxed in her presence, like she's just one of the guys. The two of them have been good friends for about half a year now, ever since she came to Smallville and he showed her around the middle school.
But they're not in middle school any longer. They're in high school. And she's standing there in the hall, next to her open locker, smiling at him over the top of a book.
And her smile is just so... cute.
She's grown. Not a lot. She used to look him practically straight in the eye, but he's put on like half a foot over the summer, and now he towers over her. But she's definitely taller than she was, too.
And she's grown in other places, now. Places he blushes just thinking about. She doesn't look like a little kid any more, for sure.
And she's smiling at him over her book. Flirting with him, even. He's hardly an expert on what constitutes flirting, but that is a flirty look, he's pretty sure.
He can't remember any girl ever looking at him like that before.
He swallows, feeling suddenly and strangely awkward. He's never felt like he might fall over his feet in her presence before, but now... well, he thinks he better watch where he puts his workboots. He hesitates, inexplicably nervous, but then squares his shoulders and makes his way over to her.
"Hi, Chlo," he says.
She looks up at him-- way up-- and smiles. It's a nice smile, bright and beautiful as it always has been, but with another emotion hidden in it that makes his chest twist a little.
"Hi, Clark," she answers.
"I, uh..." He swallows. That smile is doing things to his chest, and his stomach, and some other parts of his anatomy he's better off not thinking about right now. He wants to hug her, but he's afraid she might notice that part of his anatomy, which is kind of doing something he'd rather it didn't, so he doesn't quite dare. "I wondered, uh, if maybe you wanted to sit together at lunch."
Her smile gets even brighter. It's like summer sunshine, and he basks in it.
Really, there's no good reason for her to look so pleased. It's not like they've never sat together at lunch. They always sat together at lunch in middle school.
But he hasn't seen her in three months, and this is high school. And besides, it's the first time he's actually asked her.
"Sure," she says, and he feels one of those summer sunshine smiles curving his own mouth, too. Gosh, she's cute. And she looks so happy to see him-- just as happy as he is to see her. He missed her while she was gone. He missed her a lot.
But she's not quite the same person she was in June, and neither is he.
It's a new year. A new start. And over the summer, they've both grown so much that they're almost like new people.
He can't wait to learn more about the new Chloe Sullivan. He thinks he'll like her just as much as the old one. Maybe more.
Maybe a lot more.